It’s poetic justice that AS Roma end the group stage of the Europa Conference league away in Bulgaria, just rewind twelve months. AS Roma ended their Europa League group stage with a trip to Sofia to take on CSKA Sofia.
Roma travel to Bulgaria in a quandary, back-to-back defeats in Serie A away to Bologna and on Saturday evening against Inter Milan. After the latest round of action in Serie A, Roma have plunged down to seventh in the Serie A, it was looking all rosy after the two wins in two in Serie A, but it has turned once again. It has been a Jekyll and Hyde last two months for Jose Mourinho and his players.
Roma’s performance at home to Inter Milan was pitiful in all honesty it was a disgrace. The only saving grace was the fans who cheered the side on in a 3-0 humbling defeat home. Roma was without Rick Karsdorp, Tammy Abraham, and Lorenzo Pellegrini, the first two to suspension and the latter to injury. But that should not be a cover-up to a pathetic display of 90 minutes against the reigning Serie A champions. The setup of a 3-5-2 after a couple of minutes was replaced by a low block of a 5-3-1-1 which played into Inter Milan hands, at times in the game it was men against boys and in truth it really was. Those tactics may have worked ten years ago, but sadly they do not work now, football has evolved with the times. Roma got found out on Saturday just after thirty-five minutes and it was painful to watch.
Roma will be hoping for a positive result in Bulgaria and hope Bodo/Glimt fail to beat Zorya Luhansk in Ukraine. Whoever tops the group gets a bye in the knockout stages of the Conference League. Whoever finishes second must go through a qualifier in the knockout round against teams who finished third in the Europa League.
PREDICTED XI | ROMA (3-4-1-2)
Rui Patricio, Mancini, Kumbulla, Ibanez, Karsdorp, Villar, Diawara, Vina, Mkhitaryan, Zaniolo, Borja Mayoral
CSKA Sofia have struggled in the Europa Conference league this season, winless in the first five games of the campaign with just a solitary point which was the second group game of the season a 0-0 draw with Bodo/Glimt. Three defeats in a row against Zorya Luhansk (twice) and Bodo/Glimt has scuppered their chance at qualification out of the group stage. It has been a dismal display from the Bulgarian side in Europe
Domestically, CSKA Sofia are in second place Efbet Liga with thirty-three points from fifteen games a whopping nine points behind league leaders Ludogorets who are running away with the Bulgarian domestic league.
CSKA Sofia run of the last six domestic games are three wins, one draw, and two defeats. The two defeats have come against Lokomotiv Plovdiv which was a 3-1 home defeat and a 2-0 loss away from home against league leaders Ludogorets. The sole draw was the weekend just gone a 1-1 draw away at Pirin Blagoevgrad. The three wins have come against CSKA 1948, Arda Kardzhali, and Lokomotiv Sofia.
PREDICTED XI | CSKA SOFIA (4-2-3-1)
Busatto, Turistov, Mattheij, Galabov, Mazikou, Yomov, Muhar, Lam, Wildschut, Carey, Caicedo.